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Posts Tagged ‘Activism’

Unfortunately the high hopes we all had going for Prop 19 wasn’t quite enough to beat the capitalist nature of California.  I think the two major pitfalls on the voters side were those who just couldn’t get over the cannabis taboo and those who feel that it is more profitable to them now than if it were to be legalized.

Now I’m going to take a wild guess that the majority of those who voted no on 19 fell into the cannabis taboo side. As history shows the only way to destroy a taboo is to bring it to the mainstream, or normalize it within our society.

So this is why I say smoke proud people! Don’t try to hide what is an important part of our culture. Our friends and families have grown cannabis and harvested it for fibers and medicine for generations, as have the entire human race for as far back as history can show us. If the public and those opposed political figures become accustomed to the safe and responsible use of cannabis they will eventually see the stupidity and utter irresponsibility that is the prohibition of cannabis.

On that note, check out Zach Galifianakis on Bill Maher. This is what I’m talking about. Dude smokes a joint during the discussion, no big deal. He’ll be going home after to his family or whatever, probably pick up pizza on the way and some desert.. maybe a pie or some peaches and ice cream..

Apparently Bill Maher told Wolf Blitzer that “If it was a real joint, Wolf, I would have smoked it, I think it was cloves or something,”

Anyways my point is that the more of this that goes on, the more people will have to accept it or be left behind.

Check out the video, I’m guessing the dragons are the scaley looking politicians on the other side of the table?

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Today I’ve chosen to waiver a bit from my usual cannabis related writings to touch on another subject I feel very strongly about which is the current state of the United States “Justice” system.

I’ll start with the details of my specific case and then get to the points I’d like to touch on. Through my experience growing up in San Jose, CA I have seen countless numbers of my friends fall victim to the outdated and destructive laws of the California prison system. I myself have been nearly bankrupted by court fees, lawyer fees, fines, court ordered classes and in my specific situation airfare between Vancouver where I live and California where I was committed for a first offense DUI. I am currently working at firearm training facility for which I am required to pay 20$ a day for the privilege of spending 8 hours being disrespected and having orders I don’t understand barked at me by over supplemented and or overweight police officers. As far as I’m concerned this is no less than slavery I am forced to buy myself into.

Now let me explain the process through which ordinary citizens are forced into poverty and crime. The laws set up by our government are designed to force people into the prison system and keep them there. When an individual such as myself, either by misfortune or poor judgement, commits a “crime” as defined by the state they are given two choices either prison or bankruptcy. Let me mention that about two days ago while at my work site I found that the jail I could have been in was just locked down for a series of stabbings with one death, which leans my decision towards the bankruptcy rather than the possible death. Now If you so choose to stay out of prison, and hopefully alive, they take you for every bit of money you can afford or not afford to pay them. If you can not afford to pay your fees out right then the state collection agency holds the right to take your paychecks in full until you have payed your debt. Now the biggest issue with this is the fact that if you are in fact convicted of a felony it makes willful employment damn near impossible and leaves you with the mentality of “why fight for a job if they’re just gonna take the money”. With the current state of economy and the lack of jobs in the state of California there are little to no employers who are willing to pick a convicted felon over the abundance of alternatives. Now this means that even if you so choose to try to rejoin society as a law abiding and contributing member the state will continue to rape you for what little capital you have to live by. This leaves only a few options for these people to ever support themselves or their families which the easiest and most obvious options include the sale of drugs or theft related crimes. Now if you have been convicted of a felony you will also have been assigned a parol officer who’s sole purpose in life is to catch you if you ever commit another criminal offense. This means that when you do you will be forced straight back into the vicious circle that is the California system and effective establishing not only California but the entire United States as a prison state.

You would think that the key purpose of the prison system would be to rehabilitate criminals, however from my experience it does simply the opposite. For myself, had I chosen to pay my time in jail rather than the work program, it would have been an advanced education in drugs and crime to spend 30 days with the criminals in the Alameda County jail. I would be sent in as a young man who made a mistake one night while drunk, and come out scarred and bitter with the knowledge and experience of those in there who wish to share their tales. Not to mention that about two days ago while at my work site I found that the jail I could have been in was just locked down for a series of stabbings with one death.

Our government has gone too far with their punishments, as I see my friends and families being pushed further in to ghettos and forced into poverty I know that it is time for a change. I know that it is time that our government sets up a system to help further the progress of our citizens and society. Its time that we abolish these ridiculous three strike laws and jail time for non violent offenders. Why lock someone up who is of no threat to the general population? The current system is destroying our communities and our country and we need to see a change before our once prosperous cities fall into conditions beyond repair. For we know what happens when governments take everything from their citizens, the only possible outcome is a civil uprising and ultimately a revolution.

Please write your politicians, let them know of the injustices being performed and taken out on otherwise law abiding citizens. The laws should be put in place to protect the people, not destroy them. Whatever it is that you have seen as an injustice we have to be made known. So please, please write to your officials and push for change; or we will see the true power of the people united against their government.

“The people should not fear their government, The government should fear their people.”

I take this quote very strongly to heart, and I think its time that we show the government just what it is that they need to be afraid of. They need to be afraid of what they are doing to us, because we can only bend over and take it for so long.

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Hey everybody, so Thursday morning I caught wind of a quick action protest that was being set up to march through the streets of Vancouver to show our support for Marc Emery and to spread the message that his wrongful incarceration must be dealt with and remedied by the Canadian government.

The march started with the rallying of the troops down at the CC headquarters where we met in the intersection of Cambie and Hastings, dawned our “Free Marc shirts”, picket signs, posters and flyers, lit up some spliffs and began our march through the city chanting and handing out information. We started through the city and stopped to post and light up at all the major intersections while our police escort held up the surrounding traffic. We received some good coverage from CTV who was filming us from their balcony.

The whole while we made our rounds through the city Jodie Emery was on the phone doing interviews with radio stations, newspaper and street level camera crews. All in all it was a great success and a good precursor to today’s world-wide rally for Marc Emery’s freedom. It starts at 2 today at Victory Square in Vancouver, across from the CC Headquarters on Hastings and Cambie. I hope to see a lot of support out there today as well as from the rallies across the globe.

For my friends down in Nor Cal, there will be a rally held in Vacaville at the corner of Marshal and Peabody (Across from the High School). It would be a great display of support for one of my and the rest of the cannabis communities’ great heros. For everyone else in the world have a look HERE at cannabisculture.com to see if there is a rally going one near you. I know its a bit late to plan big but any support is good support.

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For those of you living around the world you may not quite understand our traditional 420 smoke in here in Vancouver. Each year thousands of people gather infront of the art gallery here in downtown Van city to in one impressive toke fill an entire city block with the sweet smoke of the cannabis plant. Every year it is so impressive to see so many people of every different kind coming together to show their love and support for what should be our legal right. There are booths and street vendors all over selling bud and edibles, bongs and pipes, and generally promoting the use of the herb to the public.

The highlights of the event being of course the on-the-dot cloud rising above Vancouver’s biggest session in history, the speakers of course, David Malmo Levine, Jody Emery and many others, Marc Emery who was there through the whole of the event politicin’ shaking hands and kissing babies (not that there were any babies there, that would be entirely inappropriate). The music was good and the atmosphere was amazing.

However this year’s traditionally peaceful celebration was a bit tainted and if I may say no exactly “putting our best foot forward” for the cannabis community. The state of the affair was complete chaos from when I arrived to when I left. There was immense amounts of trash all over the grounds, there were people tagging on the art gallery, a girl passed out and had to be taken off by paramedics, and if thats not bad enough for the first time in over 20 years of 420 celebrations a fight even broke out dead center of the crowd.

Now this sort of thing makes me very sad because the entire statement that everyone there had come together to support was lost. Now this was little to no surprise  considering there was over 10,000 people crammed together on one downtown city block. This to me is simply poor planning. They desperately need to move the celebration to a new venue and judging by the number of people they bring out its gonna need to be a big one.

So here is what I propose!

The Vancouver International Cannabis Festival!

Now much like the operation of the Jazz festival in Gastown every year, we could host something similar with stages and booths up and down water st. and extending up to queen elizabeth square right in front of the Cannabis Culture headquarters. I think this would be fantastic, more space would mean less chance of fights and we could bring in bands from all over the world to perform infront of thousands of people. Political leaders and activists could speak from different stages and get their messages out to a wider group of people who instead of trying to fight though crowds without burning themselves on a blunt could comfortably smoke and listen to what they have to say.

However the concern is due to the poor execution of this years event it may be possible that BC Marijuana Party may not have much bargaining power with the city to continue this event let alone host it in a bigger space next year.

On another note, I’ve got some great shots of this year’s event and will have them up for you guys to check out on here very soon!

As always, Peace and blow that smoke proud.

~The Hempen Journeyman

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Marc's Final Farewell with his wife Jodie by his side.

Marc's Final Farewell with his wife Jodie by his side.

It has been just over two months since my last post and I’m really sorry that this has to be my first post back.

Today was a sad day for so many people as we watched Marc Emery, the leader of the BC Marijuana party and the self proclaimed “Prince of Pot”  head in to the Supreme Court of BC to be sentenced for marijuana trafficking to the United States. He will be taken today after his hearing and held in a BC prison until the extradition order is signed and Marc is shipped to some US federal prison.

The throng of people crowded outside the courts today here in Vancouver to hear Marc and Jodie give their final press conference together before Marc’s five year sentence was inspiring. We all gathered at 9:00 this morning, some of us missing work, some skipping school and other travelling in from all over the the greater Vancouver area to show their love an support for not only Marc, but for his wife Jodie as well who will continue his work in his absence.

At the end of the press conference everyone said their final farewells with hugs and tears as we saw Marc off into the courthouse. I hope everyone out there will look at this situation and realize that this ridiculous war on drugs has just destroyed another family by tearing a husband from his wife for the sale of a plant.

Today for the first time in my life I am not proud to be a Canadian because of the lack of respect and support our government has shown for this honest, hard working and inspiring man who by our laws has committed no crime. The fact that our own Vancouver Police Department conspired and worked along side the DEA allowing them not only into our country, but into our city to destroy a man we all love.

All I can hope is that this ordeal will bring some coverage to the issue of prohibition and show that Marc who has done no damage to anyone has been wrongfully persecuted by the United States government and that cannabis has no victims. The only victims are those of the prohibition.

To Marc and Jodie, I hope only the best for your both. Stay strong and you both can get through this knowing that your sacrifice has not been in vain, the legalization movement will continue to grow and that someday your lost liberties and happiness will be returned to you both.

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So guys its been a little while due to me being real busy finishing up school and living the life up here in Vancouver. The sun’s been shining and I’ve been out enjoying the gorgeous pacific northwest so I haven’t been inside with the computer much.

But for this news I am sitting and hacking away at the keys to spread the news that Oakland has passed a new ordinance that raises the tax paid on the sale of medical marijuana. This is great news for the simple fact that it brings a solid legitimacy to the sale of marijuana. Oakland is now the nation’s first city to directly tax the herb and support the sale of medical marijuana.

The city set at 1.8% tax on medical marijuana sold in the city. This tax is expected to raise at least $400,000 and perhaps more that $1 million annually according to the wall street journal. The city of Oakland is currently suffering from a 83 million dollar shortcoming on a $455 million budget.

About 80% of voters backed the marijuana tax and with the backing of the oakland city council, this legislation shows just how widespread the acceptance of the normalization of cannabis really is.

With the polls showing  56%  of californians in support of legalization and taxation, this experimental tax of cannabis is exactly what other politicians need to show them that legalization and taxation can really help with the state deficit.

Legalize 2010

Legalization 2010!!! For AB390 to pass californians are going to have to band together and gather enough signatures to get it on the ballot.

Lets go fellow Californians!!! I wish I could be down there doing my part alas I am living up here in the north and can’t.

Check out news on CNN Politics HERE

Peace, and keep blowing that smoke proud.

~ The Hempen Journeyman

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Hey everybody, sorry for the lack of new posts lately. I’ve been taking care of some issues that have kept me pretty busy for the past week or so.

Today I have a few cool things for all of you hippies out there!Weeds

#1 Season 5 Premier of Weeds comes out june 8th!!

Check out the sneak peak on CelebStoner.com HERE!

I love Weeds not only because of the incredibly attractive Nancy Botwin, played by Mary-Louise Parker, but also because of the fact that the producers of weeds are doing incredible things for the legalization movement! They have created a show that has brought about more acceptance for the herb and the industry behind it. The show portrays a good loving mother who is forced to deal with bad people because of the fact that cannabis is illegal. All she wants to do is provide for her family and she is forced in to a world full of danger and corruption simply because of the prohibition. In addition to the show, weeds has worked with other activists to get the message out including being highlighted in CNN’s Marijuana inc. documentary about the marijuana industry in California. Not too long ago the creators of weeds released this short promo/doc about the history of weed. Check it out.

Next up we’ve got a little blazing treat here in vancouver that Canadian’s will be passing across the country In a beautiful display of unity and world wide acceptance.

Thats Right! The Olympic Joint!

The Olympic Jay blazing across Canada

The Olympic Jay blazing across Canada

The new design for the olympic torch is a perfectly ironic representation of our beautiful Vansterdam. From the pinched ends to the slight twist in is body, this is a beautiful modern take on the classic spliff. I personally think this is a brilliant symbol for the olympics. Nothing brings people together like a good session and what better metaphor than jog jog passing this joint across the country to bring the world together for the 2010 olympics.

My only complaint is someone’s gotta fix that run.. is burning a bit uneven.

Peace and keep blowing that smoke proud,
Kid Kulture

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